NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


古川起こし太鼓 Furukawa-okoshidaiko Furukawa Okoshi Daiko

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Furukawa Festival, the annual festival of Keta Wakamiya Shrine in Hida City, Gifu Prefecture, is famous for Okoshi Daiko (the Wake-up Drums). The drums are beaten to wake up people and make them ready for meeting the holy deity.

On the day of the festival, the whole town is filled with enthusiasm and excitement arisen by the fight among the half-naked young male drummers. Those men first got together in an open space called “Okoshi Daiko-no-sato Hiroba,” where the starting ceremony is held. Then the men straddling on the huge drums begin to beat the drums with all their strength. The float with the huge drum on is carried by hundreds of half-naked men and it slowly goes through the town with the beating sound of the drum. The highlight is the fierce battle called “Furukawa Yancha,” in which the drummers of small drums attack the huge drum on the float while the guards of the main drum fight back to prevent them. The battle is fought for as long as four hours.

The towns of Takayama City are divided into four teams, which take turns selecting the main drummers. The teams are named after the four guardian gods; Seiryu (blue dragon as the east guardian god), Byakko (white tiger as the west guardian god), Suzaku (red phoenix as the south guardian god), and Genbu (as the north guardian god).

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Furukawa-cho, Hida, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
Furukawa Okoshi Daiko

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